Knowing that four days a week, for six hours a day, they will be helping first-grade students from Arthur Elementary School, helps many Oklahoma City elderly stay healthy.
The Foster Grandparents Program allows those aged 60 and older and in decent health to work with children with spelling, reading, or any assignment the young child may have. The grandparent must also commit to at least 15 hours a week.
Many find themselves volunteering for the program because they are just plain bored at home, doing the same thing day to day. Working with the children gives them a sense of accomplishment, and makes them feel loved. This is stronger than any medicine that can be prescribed, said one elderly volunteer.
The memories both students and volunteers are taking with them are cherished ones. Eighty-two year old Betty Talkington says, "When I am old, and I'm sitting in my rocking chair, and I have a blanket over my legs, I'm going to think of all the little things they do for me." She went on to say she keeps all the letters and drawings made for her in a box to help her remember these happy times.
Even though many of these "grandparents" have several children and grandchildren of their own, they feel they still have plenty of love to share with other little ones.
For more information on this great program, contact the Oklahoma City Department of Human Services.